ADE Better Energy Blog
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- The oldest district heating scheme dates back to the 1300s when a village in France set up a network of wooden pipes to distribute warm water from a geothermal source. 700 years later and the UK is just catching up with plans for the UK's first geothermal district heating scheme announced this year.
- The more modern version of district heating was invented by Birdsill Holly in 1877. Holly designed a system that used a central boiler to generate steam that was then pumped to homes and commercial properties connected together by a pipe network running along several main streets in the US town of Lockport.
- Here in the UK, district heating became a popular choice for use in high rise buildings and saw a boom during the 60s and 70s.
- Now, the UK has around 2,000 heat networks that connected around 210,000 homes and 1,700 businesses – a little under 2% of all properties in the UK.
- With support from the Government, the technology is set to make a comeback, with over 50 local authorities and counting looking into the feasibility of heat networks in their area.
- Stats from DECC show that there is a significant opportunity for district heating in the UK, with potential as big as 20% by 2030 and 40% by 2050.